Jamaica: Archbishop of the WI says Bible does not support anti-sodomy laws

GAY rights proponents all but found themselves in a clash with anti-gay participants at yesterday's international religious leaders' conference on anti-sodomy laws in the Commonwealth.

The forum was organised by local and international interest groups, at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Mona. The conference, which featured an array of church leaders from the Anglican Church and other religious sects, examined the buggery laws which exist across the Commonwealth and the Caribbean region and their impact on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Keynote speaker Rev Dr John Holder, archbishop of the West Indies, argued that the Bible does not support sodomy laws, which are relics of British colonisation, and that the text cannot be used for “homo bashing”, as all the references to homosexuality in the Bible “are sparse” and were used in specific contexts.

“It is not there in Leviticus, in Romans, even in Timothy... The text cannot be twisted in that way,” he said, arguing that if it is accepted that context determines interpretation, then the context in which the few scriptures that refer to homosexuality were used, cannot be ignored.

Dr Holder further maintained that the strong anti-gay sentiments that still exist in the Caribbean have more to do with culture than morality.

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